We Don't Walk Anymore

We Don't Walk Anymore

Anonymous | Mar 04, 2019

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Am I starting a #metoo movement? I don't know. But I read the article titled "Harassment on Campus: A Tale of Depravity Hard to Disregard", on Monday Morning last week and I wish I had written this sooner - two weeks back, when it happened.

It was no later than 08:45 PM. My friend (a girl) and I decided to take a walk after dinner as we so often used to. We stay in CVR, and on our routine walks, we take the road from CVR, by the North Block Guest House, pass Mangla Mandir, take a right till the Institute Main Gate and then again a right, all the way till CVR again, passing the Jagda Gate on our way. I hope you can visualize which path I'm talking about. That last stretch of road has the prettiest red brush like flowers flanging both the sides.

We were on that last lap of our walk, that last stretch - talking, laughing and just having a good time, when we crossed a man - maybe a little more than our age, relieving himself near the bushes, having parked his cycle on the road. I recall it now, but at that moment, it was pretty inconsequential - so we walked on. Some five minutes later, that man, having finished with his duties, started walking with his cycle. He was initially a few steps behind us and we were again oblivious. He probably quickened his pace and somehow fell into step with us.

That stretch of road, which usually has autos and vehicles running on it, was completely empty that night, save the two of us and the man on the cycle. I started being aware of the stray man walking beside us, and from the corner of my eye, I saw the most revolting sight I have ever seen. Pardon me for being offensive on a public platform but I will dare to make a description of that sight.

The man held the handle of his cycle with one hand and with his other hand, he was masturbating vigorously, as he walked beside us. We pretended to turn a blind eye to what he was doing and stopped to admire the flowers, hoping he would leave - because as of yet he hadn't made it apparent that he was doing it on purpose. So, we stopped; but then he walked a few steps and stopped as well, continuing the act, which is when we realised this was not accidental.

We were almost 200 metres away from the Jagda Gate Security when this incident happened, so there was nothing we could think of doing except flee from there. We started walking away faster - I have never been more aware of my heartbeat than I was that night.

The ordeal did not stop there. The man stood there for some more time and kept calling out to us, loudly enough for us to hear him give a description of some "length" and what he wanted us to do. We did not look back and kept walking, but before we could reach the Jagda Gate Security, he hopped on his cycle and sped out of the campus via that very gate.

Who could we tell this to? We did not know the man - he had a hoodie on. We had no evidence - just our memory. How would we describe it, if we went and complained? The ICC? What would they investigate in this case? And on top of that, how would we present the case without it backfiring on us - for all I know, we would only have been asked to not venture out at night, even when it was barely 9 PM.

So we gulped the disgusting sight and drowned out the words we heard that night, and stopped going on walks. Because isn't that what is expected of us? To stay within, because the campus is not safe. To not raise our voices for freedom of movement because we can't afford security. And to quietly bear all these miscreants and molesters and masturbators inside our VERY OWN CAMPUS, instead of actually fighting to eliminate these forces completely.

We did that. And guess what? Somehow, we don't feel at peace.

The only thing that gives me some respite is that, I now carry a pepper spray with me wherever I go; as I strongly urge my fellow girls to do too.

 

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